March 6, 2014

In this newsletter:

1) Watch the PBS debate on testing by clicking the link below

2) Following the money

3) Upcoming events and Pasi Sahlberg comes to Colorado

Studio 12 Colorado Public Television, “Does Standardized tests really work.” Watch this lively panel discussion and my signature eye roll.

Following the Money:

Publishers (Pearson and McGraw-Hill) – Both corporations actively lobby for Federal and State policies that institute high-stakes standardized tests ensuring that what gets measured gets taught. Products (tests, study guides, text books and software) are “aligned” creating a monopoly for test publishers. Pearson has already begun to reap billions from the adoption of Common Core. Pearson sales were up 5 percent in 2012 to $9.21 billion, Operating profit in 2012 was $1.4 billion.

McGraw Hill Profits
McGraw-Hill is the publisher of CSAP/TCAP, for the past sixteen years. They also held the test contract in twenty-six other states. McGraw-Hill Education was sold to Apollo Global Management, LLC in early 2013 for $2.5 billion. Months later The United States Government filed a $5 billion dollar fraud lawsuit against McGraw Hill Financial. The corporation’s total revenues in 2012 were nearly $4.5 billion.

Consultants – “In Colorado — one of the few states willing to tally such spending — consultants are taking home 35 percent, or $9.4 million, of the $26.6 million that came to the state from the U.S. Department of Education in the past two years.”

Colorado Department of Education – has nearly doubled their budget since high-stakes testing was adopted in Colorado. Since 2000 they have experienced a 46% increase in employees while Districts throughout the state have suffered dramatic cuts.

CDE budget
$2,518,388,992    $3,727,484,358    $4,725,438,549    $4,336,043,821    $4,908,003,753
2000 -2001              2005-2006               2008-2009             2011-2012           2014-2015

Click here to see the full report:

Thursday, March 13th at 6:30 pm
Join public education community activists from different districts as we work to take back our schools from the privatization movement.
There will be a panel discussion around the reform movement happening in Cherry Creek, Denver, Douglas County and Jefferson County along with how to mobilize and work together.

Highlands Ranch Library
9292 Ridgeline Boulevard, Highlands Ranch, Colorado 80129

United Opt Out Denver Conference, March 28-30th, Auraria Campus
Pasi Sahlberg will be coming Saturday, March 29th at United Opt Out. Can you please make a contribution?

“Without public schools, our nations and communities are poorly equipped to value humanity, equality and democracy.” Pasi Sahlberg